Thursday, May 3, 2012

Blueshirts make history in OT classic

Yesterday's three overtime classic which the Rangers won 2-1 was the longest game the Original Six franchise has played in 41 years. Marian Gaborik's winner at 114:41 of sudden death made it the fifth longest playoff game the Blueshirts have ever been involved in in their eighty-six year history.

It was back in 1971 that Pete Stemkowski scored at 1:29 of third overtime to defeat the Blackhawks in Game Six of the Semifinals, forcing Game Seven. Of course, everyone knows Chicago prevailed. Hopefully, this series will play out differently. To think we're still in Round Two is pretty crazy. The playoffs have been unbelievable so far with already 19 games needing overtime, including the Flyers' 4-3 win (Danny Briere) over the Devils in Game One of their second round match-up. Whoever wins it all will have really earned it. Especially in the East. No disrespect out West but the series in our conference have been more grueling. Unless St. Louis puts up a fight against the Kings later tonight, maybe you get one great series with Nashville and Phoenix. Yes, I fully expect the Predators to even that up, making for an interesting final three games. We'll see.

Getting back to the Rangers for a second. Before last night, you have to go all the way back to 1939 for a playoff game involving our franchise that's lasted so long. Yes. That was prior to them winning the third Stanley Cup in 1940. Funny enough, the organization got it wrong on the press release- calling yesterday the fourth longest before Jim Cerny fixed it. On the flip side, the Caps have never won a game that went at least three OTs. They're now 0-4 in such games. I won't bother with the extra details :P. If you recall Pat Lafontaine's miraculous winner for the Islanders in '84, that helps explain Washington's luck when it goes late.

Wednesday's game was the first one that required at least three overtimes since April 22, 2010 when Ottawa's Matt Carkner notched the winner at 107:06 against Pittsburgh. ... It became the longest overtime game since May 5, 2008 when Dallas defeated San Jose 2-1 at 129:03 of the fourth OT. ... Rangers improved to 1-2 in OT this postseason. ... Of their 10 games thus far, half have needed sudden death for the Capitals. After prevailing in Game Seven thanks to Joel Ward, they fell to 2-3 following last night.

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